Sweet & Savory Spare Ribs—It’s What’s For Dinner!

To me, autumn is the official start of slow-cooker season (although I don’t know why I don’t use it more often in other months). I love the notion of coming home and smelling something yummy before I even open the door. We still had a few of summer’s last foods, too, so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to ease into fall with a warming dish using some warm weather ingredients. Even though there’s a jalapeno in here, it’s not spicy at all—just a nice balance of sweet and savory. Say hello to the best season (in my opinion) with these succulent ribs!

Sweet & Savory Spare Ribs




  • 3 lbs. pork spare ribs (Klein Farms)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1 onion (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 1 jalepeno (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 1/4 c. peach or apricot juice (Smart Juice)
  • 1/4 c. white wine (Franklin Hill Vineyards)
  • 3 T. brown sugar (I was out of brown sugar but had this random packet of sweet potato seasoning, which included brown sugar, ginger, salt and pepper so I used it in place of those ingredients)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 sprig rosemary (my garden)


  1. Separate the ribs into individual riblets (or have your butcher do this).
  2. Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet.
  3. Add riblets to skillet. Cook over high heat until browned on bottom, about 1-2 minutes, then flip and repeat.

    Browning Ribs

    I like to use a cast iron skillet to brown meat before slow cooking.

  4. Thickly slice onion and place in bottom of slow cooker.
  5. Pile riblets on top of onion.
  6. Chop tomatoes and remove seeds and veins from jalapeno. Place in food processor.
  7. Puree tomatoes and pepper. Add juice, wine, vinegar, brown sugar and ginger (or packet like I used) , then mix until combined.
  8. Pour tomato mixture over riblets.
  9. Place cinnamon sticks and rosemary on top, then cover slow cooker.
  10. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve with roasted potatoes or baked sweet potatoes.

    Succulent Ribs

    You can taste the start of fall.

*Tip: If you want to be extra frugal, pull the meat from the bones when the ribs are done and save the bones to make pork stock (great for Asian recipes)! You can also save the extra sauce in the crockpot to use in the future.


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